The Effects of Catnip on Cats

If you have a feline companion you’ve probably given him a little toy mouse filled with catnip. No doubt, you’ve watched him go a little crazy rolling around the floor having a good old time with that catnip filled mouse. Catnip certainly has an effect on cats but some pet owners still wonder if it is safe for their feline friends.

While there has been some controversy over the effects of catnip it does seem to be safe and you don’t have to worry about your cat overdosing on catnip. The herb can have varied effects on different cats. Since hyperactivity is one of those effects it is best not to give catnip to an aging cat or one that has health problems such as a heart condition.

Catnip may cause some cats to act aggressively toward other pets. If you notice your cat showing any type of aggression after giving him catnip, you may want to refrain from using the herb in the future.

Cats may both sniff and eat catnip. Strangely enough, cats seem to be stimulated when they sniff catnip yet when eaten the herb acts as a sedative. A small percentage of cats have no reaction to catnip at all. Kittens younger than two to three months of age are not affected by the herb.

You can purchase a variety of catnip toys; a catnip bed or the herb can be bought loose. Keep in mind that it can be a bit messy if you choose to sprinkle loose catnip around the house but you can use it to draw your cat to a particular spot such as a scratching post. If using loose catnip, store it in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator or freezer.

Catnip is a perennial herb. It is a member of the mint family and is distantly related to marijuana. There are over two hundred species of the catnip. The herb has been around since ancient times and has been used as an herbal remedy to treat colds, fever, flu and other ailments. Catnip was commonly used to make tea. It was also rumored to be a cure for baldness. This versatile herb is even said to repel insects particularly mosquitoes. In ancient times cats were given catnip in order to create a psychic bond between the cat and its human companion.

In most cats, catnip produces a euphoric feeling that brings out kitten-like playfulness in adult cats. The effect usually lasts from five to fifteen minutes. Sprinkle a little catnip on the floor or give your cat a catnip mouse and watch the fun begin.

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